Microsoft offers open and royalty-free documentation and licenses for the Microsoft Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas. These Reference Schemas include SpreadsheetML (the schema for Microsoft Office Excel 2003), FormTemplate Schemas (the schema for Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003), WordprocessingML (the schema for Microsoft Office Word 2003), and and DataDiagramingML (the schema for Microsoft Office Visio 2003). The Schemas provide developers and representatives of business and government a standard way to store and exchange data stored in documents.The move appears to have been motivated by governments who are demanding open standards for document formats. Alternative office productivity suites like OpenOffice.org should also benefit from the released schemas, which are being offered under a perpetual, royalty-free license.
Thanks to Slashdot for the tip.